Successful emergency response drill held at SGTC

Published 2:41 pm Saturday, July 14, 2018

AMERICUS — Over 150 individuals participated in a multi-layered emergency response training drill on the South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) campus Thursday that involved more than 20 different emergency response agencies as well as students from SGTC and Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW).
“On behalf of South Georgia Technical College and the entire community, I would like to thank each of the individuals and agencies that took part in the Emergency Management Training Drill on the South Georgia Technical College campus,” said SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D. “The dedication and training of the public servants who work diligently to help secure the health and safety of our students as well as all of the citizens of this and surrounding communities is vital. We appreciate you and what you do.”
Watford stressed that the drill was held to help prepare for an event that no one hopes will ever happen. “We are very fortunate to have these types of partnerships with each of the individuals and agencies that participated in this drill,” continued Watford. “To have 150 or more individuals to dedicate the time and energy and resources needed to work together to pull off this type of training is tremendous. We offer programs that train law enforcement, firefighters, emergency management technicians, licensed practical nursing, and more. This drill showcased each area of study into one great training exercise and demonstrated why these services are so important to our communities.”

Sumter County Sheriff’s officers are shown doing a sweep of the gym during the mock incident.

The simulated event provided realistic training and hands-on experience for South Georgia Technical College EMT and licensed practical nursing students as well as GSW nursing students, the SGTC campus safety officers, all local law enforcement agencies, firefighters, and first response organizations including the Sumter County Emergency Management office and Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.
The mock victims played by SGTC and GSW students were triaged by SGTC emergency management technician students and agency professionals from the Sumter County Fire & Rescue, Americus Fire & Emergency Services, Gold Star EMS, Lee County EMS, Webster County EMS, Crisp County EMS, Schley County EMS, Terrell County EMS, and Dougherty County EMS groups. Victims were transported by ambulances and a helicopter to GSW’s nursing building (the upstairs replicates a hospital floor and can serve as a trauma center) and Phoebe Sumter Medical Center emergency center. At GSW, eight GSW registered nursing students and eight SGTC licensed practical nursing students worked side by side to offer care to the mock victims.
The idea for the multi-unit drill originally came from Brad Harnum, SGTC EMT instructor. “I really wanted the advanced level EMT students who are graduating in August to experience a realistic emergency and be able to think outside of the box before entering the workforce,” Harnum said.
Nigel Poole, Sumter County Emergency Management director, helped coordinate the drill and agency participants. “This drill is a huge collaborative effort. Each agency and organization involved, as well as the citizens from all participating nearby counties, will benefit from this training in the event of a real-life emergency situation,” explained Poole.
At the end of the drill, each agency gathered to recap the event and evaluations were conducted. “I think we can all say that this was a very successful drill,” said Poole. who headed up the evaluation portion. “Are there things that we can do differently or better? The answer is yes, but we also know that training is what allows us to see and correct or adopt new ways of communicating and working together for the good of our community.”
This is the second drill that SGTC has hosted this year. For photos of the event visit the SGTC website at: